A Collaborative Leadership Approach to Carbon Sequestration: An Exploratory Multiple-case study

A Collaborative Leadership Approach to Carbon Sequestration: An Exploratory Multiple-case study

Author: 
Guy A. B. Stillwell Smith
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
Inconsistent outcomes from four carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects in Alberta, Canada have resulted in limited adoption of similar such projects. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory multiple-case study was to explore how stakeholders may collaborate to consistently implement successful CCS projects. Barriers to broader propagation of CCS for climate change mitigation were identified. Collaborative leadership theory, where stakeholders with diverse values and interests are encouraged to operate together to reduce administrative gridlock, was considered as a framework for CCS initiatives. Data were collected from a small sample of eight CCS experts, and from publicly available relevant archived materials. Collaboration was found to be strong in all cases; lack of collaboration was not found to be a primary reason for the failure of two of the projects examined. Key findings of the study are that: (a) CCS is only one of many available climate change mitigation measures; (b) barriers to climate change mitigation exist in global perceptions of Canada’s environmental record, and in the reluctance of industry partners to innovate; (c) CCS, while technically feasible, is uneconomical without government policy levers including carbon pricing; (d) lessons learned from successful CCS proposals inform research and development for future CCS applications; (e) market forces should evolve based on the most competitive price per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions avoided; and (f) two CCS projects succeeded because of strong stakeholder collaboration and application of lessons learned from earlier projects, while two projects failed because of non-viable business models
Dedication: 
It is somehow fitting that, while planning and writing a dissertation that focuses on how the behavior of humans in the past and present can significantly affect the future global environment, my thoughts often fell upon those who have had, and will have, a profound influence on my own past, present, and future. To those named below, I dedicate this study, with all my love. In the past, my late parents, Ernest (also known as Stuart) and Barbara Smith, instilled in me a work ethic and a thirst for learning that have stayed with me all my life. Because of their earnest efforts to ensure my happiness and success, I have been fortunate to enjoy a long professional career and to find joy in pursuing studies in subjects that have not necessarily been in the mainstream of my career path. Their words and thoughts are reflected in the following pages. In the present (as well as in the past), I have received support and encouragement from my siblings: my sister Kilmeny Smith and my brother Dr. Lorcan Smith, both of whom have left a substantial positive influence on my actions over the years. They continue to bless me with their love and support as we all make our way in the world. Also in the present, I have experienced the pure joy of being married to the love of my life, Gail Haché, who continues to provide all manner of support, encouragement, advice, and unbounded love, in sickness and in health, and for richer or for poorer. It is my good fortune that I can share each day with her; she has been an absolute rock as the process of completing this dissertation has unfolded. Many of my friends and colleagues consider Gail to be a saint for putting up with me, and I cannot help but concur. The future for all people on this planet, and ultimately the responsibility for undoing some of the damage done by past generations, lies in the hands of the next generation. I have been blessed with three beautiful, intelligent, and socially aware daughters who make my heart swell with pride every day. I look forward to observing the footprints that Gemma, Breanna, and Taryn leave on the world as they write the next chapters in their respective books of life. I believe I am safe in saying that their impact on the world will be significant and positive; and no father can ever ask for anything more than that.
Acknowledgements: 
I have been fortunate to receive guidance from several individuals from every field of endeavor in which I have been involved. They have lent their support without protest; they have provided advice; they have questioned my logic when it needed to be questioned; and they have each provided me with a helping hand along the road as this journey has wound to its conclusion. Among these individuals are the various study participants who agreed to be interviewed and to provide information and opinions on the subject matter. This dissertation is complete because of their input, and I trust they can hear their voices in the narrative. Dr. Syed Zaidi, Dr. Vincent Tolani, and Mr. Ray Nelson assisted me by fieldtesting the semi-structured interview protocol. Their assistance helped me to “fine-tune” the protocol so that the open-ended questions administered during the interviews bore relevance to the problem statement, purpose statement, and research questions presented in the study. I thank all three of these gentlemen for their support and encouragement. Two of my first three advisory committee members, chair Dr. Gregory Berry and member Dr. Janice Monroe, were unable to continue in their roles after I had to take a long health-related hiatus in my doctoral journey. The advice they provided to me while members of my committee was extremely valuable and is evident in the following pages. I acknowledge their support and thank them for joining me as I started out along this long, winding, and bumpy road. Dr. J. Alan Humphries has been part of my advisory team from the very beginning. He has provided consistent and positive advice and support, and has always been ready, willing, and able to answer difficult questions. Dr. Humphries’ support has been extremely valuable and greatly appreciated at all times. Dr. Katherine Downey stepped in as a member of the advisory team when Dr. Monroe was unable to continue. Dr. Downey immediately set to work on examining the narrative of my introductory chapters and helped me to determine the nature of the story I was attempting to tell. Her probing, yet respectful, inquiry as to whether or not certain paragraphs and sections were expressed properly, or indeed even necessary, have resulted in a dissertation that is considerably briefer and more to the point than it was when Dr. Downey joined the team. I appreciate Dr. Downey’s expertise and assistance greatly. Dr. Elmer Hall provided me with an invaluable sounding board throughout his tenure as chair of the dissertation committee after replacing Dr. Berry. His personal commitment to the cause of sustainability, in all its forms, allowed him a unique understanding of the subject matter of this study. In addition, Dr. Hall’s unrelenting positivity and irreverent sense of humor, not to mention his dreadful poetry and his obsession with his tennis game, helped me place the work of this project, together with the various submission processes in perspective, allowing me to reach the end of the dissertation journey with a smile on my face. I cannot thank Dr. Hall enough, and I hope I will have an opportunity to work with him on some academic and writing endeavors in the future. Lastly, to my beloved wife Gail Haché: This dissertation would never have been completed without your support, encouragement, and relentlessly positive attitude. Thank you, Gail, for believing in me for the duration of this journey and beyond.